Archive for January 21st, 2008

Is Your Wedding On A Tight Budget? Think Funky, Or Think Small!

Monday, January 21st, 2008

Four words I have never said: “Price is no object.” If price is a factor in your bridal plans, please read on.

Saturday night, Gina and I were visiting our son Erik in Houston. He and 4 of his friends took us to their favorite funky Chinatown hang-out, Lai-Lai. Our entire party of 7 enjoyed a delightful meal for less than $60 – tip included. Sunday brunch at the more up-scale Baba Yega Restaurant was equally fabulous, and also – for Gina, Erik, and me – about $60. So, sixty bucks can feed seven or it can feed three – depending on whether you go for fun and funky, or for classy and classic.

Those same options apply to your wedding and reception. Assume for a moment that you are on a fixed and slightly tight budget. (For most of us, that is a very safe assumption.) Without going deeply into debt, your financial limitations preclude “The Wedding Of The Century.” In fact, they may preclude inviting many of your closest friends and relations.

Here’s where my example of the 2 very different restaurant visits (with the same tabs) ties in.

On such a budget, you can either have a big, happy, but low-key wedding day, or you can have an elegant and tasteful, but intimate gathering. Which is right for you?

If it’s important to you that the most folks possible share your wedding, but Daddy’s Money (or yours) is finite, go for fun and funky! Forget the 5-star hotel or country club as a reception venue. Instead, book your favorite bohemian or ethnic restaurant during off-hours – like 2:00 ’til 5PM on Saturday. (They’ll be thrilled to work with you.) Don’t blow 50% of your total bankroll on a wedding gown that you will wear only once. Buy something pretty, yet functional for future parties and easier on your wallet. To save even more money, have your ceremony at the same venue. In years to come, you’ll remember how much fun you had, surrounded by those you love and who love you. Neither you nor they will worry a moment about the (lack of) expense.

But if you’ve always dreamed of a more traditional wedding, then – by all means – that is what you should have. (But without everyone you’ve ever met in attendance.) In order to prevent bruised feelings, you might consider having your immediate families join you for a ceremony at your romantic honeymoon destination. Under such circumstances, anyone with their priorities straight will understand why the guest list was limited. Such a site need not necessarily be in an exotic location. Most major cities have “boutique” hotels which are noted for their service and cuisine, but are severely limited on space. Your wedding can be like a perfect diamond – precious and beautiful, with a value out of all proportion to its size.

Which brings up four words I have often said: “It’s your wedding day.” Make it right for you and your budget!